SPECIES

Chilean Mockingbird Mimus thenca Scientific name definitions

Natacha González, Vicente Pantoja, Maria Jesus S. Mallea, Matías Garrido, Antoine Touret, Angélica Almónacid, Heraldo V. Norambuena, and Fernando Medrano
Version: 2.0 — Published March 3, 2023

Photos from this Account

Chilean Mockingbird.
Chilean Mockingbird.
Possible confusion species: White-banded Mockingbird (Mimus triurus).

White-banded Mockingbird has white patches on the wings and external tail feathers, more visible on flight; it lacks streaked flanks and marked malar stripes.

Possible confusion species: White-banded Mockingbird (Mimus triurus).

White-banded Mockingbird has white patches on the wings and external tail feathers, more visible on flight.

Chilean Mockingbird.
Possible confusion species: Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus).

Patagonian Mockingbird is smaller, lacks streaks on the flanks, and has smooth malar stripes.

Possible confusion species: Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus).

Patagonian Mockingbird is smaller, lacks streaks on the flanks, and has smooth malar stripes.

Chilean Mockingbird.
Possible confusion species: Chalk-browed Mockingbird (Mimus saturninus).

Chalk-browed Mockingbird (subspecies modulator) lacks streaks on the flanks and has smooth malar stripes.

Possible confusion species: Chalk-browed Mockingbird (Mimus saturninus).

Chilean Mockingbird (left) with Chalk-browed Mockingbird (subspecies modulator) (right).

Juvenile Chilean Mockingbird.

Juvenile plumage is similar to definitive basic plumage except browner overall (less gray); underparts with distinct streaks across the breast; juvenile upperwing median and greater coverts tipped buff to golden brown, rather whitish. Note also the filamentous juvenile body feathers, due to lower barb density than feathers of later plumages.

Juvenile Chilean Mockingbirds. 

Juvenile plumage differs from definitive basic plumage most prominently by having underparts with distinct streaks across the breast;. Note also the yellow flanges to the gape in these recent fledglings.

Juvenile Chilean Mockingbird.

Note the distinct streaking to the underparts and the buff tips to the outer greater coverts. Juvenile body feathers are filamentous. Juveniles retain the yellow gape of nestlings for a few weeks post fledging.

Formative Chilean Mockingbird

Formative plumage is distinguished from definitive basic plumage by molt limits between worn juvenile and fresh formative feathers among the upperwing coverts, tertails, and rectrices. Here note that the visible greater coverts and middle tertial (s8) have been replaced and contrast with the worn and browner primaries. Note also the olive iris.

Formative Chilean Mockingbird

The juvenile primary coverts are worn and brown, with thin or no pale tips, and contrast with the replaced greater coverts. The rectrices are narrower than basic rectrices and relatively worn. Note also the grayish-olive iris.

Formative Chilean Mockingbird

Juvenile rectrices are relatively narrow and rounded or tapered at the tips.

Definitive Basic Chilean Mockingbird.

Fresh definitive basic plumage separated from formative plumage by having wing and tail feathers uniform in quality and freshness: upperwing coverts and tertials uniform in wear; primary coverts duskier, not contrasting in feather quality with replaced greater coverts, and with broad white tips; basic outer primaries and rectrices broader, more truncate, duskier, and relatively fresher. Note also the golden yellowish iris.

Definitive Basic Chilean Mockingbird.

In worn definitive basic plumage, note that the primary coverts are dusky and still retain white tips. Rectrices are relatively fresh, broad, and with square tips.

Definitive Basic Chilean Mockingbird.

Chilean Mockingbirds have 10 functional primaries (the outermost, p10, reduced in length), 9 secondaries, and 12 rectrices. Note the relatively fresh, dusky, and broad-tipped primaries and the broad and truncate outer rectrices.

Bird with bill deformation.
Bird with bill deformation.
Bird with bill deformation.
Adult Chilean Mockingbird

In adults, the bill, legs and feet are black. The iris is olive to greenish olive.

Juvenile Chilean Mockingbird

In juveniles the iris is gray to brownish olive, turning grayish olive in the first year. The bill is grayish and the mouth lining and gape can remain yellow for a month or more post fledging.

Bird from Central Chile with lighter coloration.
Bird from Northern Chile with lighter coloration.
Bird from Central Chile with darker coloration.
Bird from Central Chile with darker coloration.
Birds in their habitat; Región Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile.
Bird in its habitat; Región Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile.
Birds in their habitat; Maule, Chile.
Bird feeding on the ground.
Bird looking for food in human environments.
Bird feeding on Aristotelia chilensis fruits.
Bird feeding on Lithraea caustica fruits.
Bird feeding on Schinus latifolius fruits.
Bird feeding on Rubus ulmifolius fruits.
Bird feeding on Prunus domestica fruits.
Birds feeding on Puya chilensis nectar.
Birds feeding on Puya alpestris nectar.
Bird perched on Echinopsis chilensis parasited by Tristerix aphyllus
Bird feeding on small grasshopper.
Bird feeding on flying insect.
Bird feeding on insect larva.
Bird perched on cables.
Bird on the ground.
Bird taking flight.
Bird presumably displaying a wing-flashing behavior.
Bird injured by an attack from a Chimango Caracara (Daptrius chimango).
Bird displaying.
Bird with Chilean Flicker (Colaptes pitius).
Bird with Moustached Turca (Pteroptochos megapodius) on a water fountain.
Bird with Great Shrike-Tyrant (Agriornis lividus).
Bird building its nest; December, Araucanía, Chile.
Adult with food for nestlings; October, Coquimbo, Chile.
Adult with fledglings; February, Los Ríos, Chile.
Bird collecting nest material.
Adult on nest.
Chilean Mockingbird chick.
Adult transporting food for their chicks on nest.
Bird feeding parasitic Shiny Cowbird chick.
Bird feeding parasitic Shiny Cowbird chick.
Adult with two fledglings.
Adult feeding fledgling.
Fledgling demanding food.
Dead bird from vehicle collision.

Macaulay Library Photos for Chilean Mockingbird

Top-rated photos submitted to the Macaulay Library via eBird. Note: Our content editors have not confirmed the species identification for these photos.

Recommended Citation

González, N., V. Pantoja, M. J. S. Mallea, M. Garrido, A. Touret, A. Almónacid, H. V. Norambuena, and F. Medrano (2023). Chilean Mockingbird (Mimus thenca), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (N. D. Sly, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.chimoc1.02